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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

ix                              THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT                         221
has hemispheres which are extremely well convoluted; but they
leave the cerebellum entirely uncovered. This suggests a brain
which is a great specialisation of a low type. The brain has
been particularly compared with that of the Carnivora, with
which group the Elephants agree in the characters of the
placenta. It is, however, always a matter of the very greatest
difficulty to compare the brains of mammals belonging to different
orders.
There are but two living species of Elephant, of both of
which we shall now proceed to give some account. Only a few of
the rather numerous fossil forms can be touched upon here.
The African Elephant, JS. africanus, has been sometimes re-
ferred to a distinct genus or sub-genus, Loxodon, by reason of the
lozenge-shaped areas on the worn grinding-teeth. It lives, as its
name denotes, in Africa. This species has a number of external
features which enable it to be distinguished from the Oriental
Elephant. The head slopes back more, and has not the two
rounded bosses which give so wise a countenance to the Indian
species. The ears are very much larger. The tip of the trunk
has a slight triangular projection on both the lower and the upper
part of the circumference of the aperture. There are four nails
on the fore-feet and three on the hind. As in the Indian form,
the toes are all bound together, and do not appear for any part as
free digits. A thick pad of fat, etc., makes the animal when
alive look as if plantigrade, whereas it is, as a matter of fact,
digitigrade. In internal features the most prominent difference
from E. indicus is in the molar teeth, which are ridged by much
fewer ridges. The outside number for a single tooth in the
present species is 10 or 11. In Mlephas indicus on the other
hand there are as many as 27.
The African Elephant, thinks Sir Samuel Baker, reaches a
height of about 12 feet, and it will be remembered that the
notorious " Jumbo ** was found to be 11 feet high at the
shoulder. The tusks are found in both sexes, as in the Indian
beast, but are relatively larger in the female in the species now
under consideration. It is also a rather more active creature, and
is more savage; * however it can be tamed, as is shown by several
1 So convinced are some persons of the tmtameable character of the African
Elephant, that it has even been suggested that the animals with which Hannibal
crossed the Alps were not J& africaams, but a now eactinet species !